Public Speaker Series

Public Speaker Series

The Public Speaker Series is jointly coordinated by the Whatcom MRC and the Whatcom Watershed Information Network (WWIN). The speaker series draws a diverse crowd and provides an opportunity for MRC members to connect with the community about marine resource issues or topics. 

Developing educational events and materials, coordinating volunteer projects, and partnering with other groups to facilitate collaborative workshops and projects are commitments of the Whatcom MRC. The Whatcom MRC and the Whatcom Watershed Information Network hosts and participates in a variety of community events including public speaker events, summits, and open houses. These activities are designed to involve the community and create a greater awareness of marine resources and the issues that surround them.

2020 Speaker Series Events

  • Climate Action Planning in Whatcom County - Chris Elder, Whatcom County (April 2, 2020).  See PowerPoint presentation here.
  • Monitoring Forage Fish in the Salish Sea - Lisa Hillier, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  See PowerPoint presentation here.  
  • Local and Broadscale Patterns of Sea Star Recovery - Melissa Miner, Researcher, UC Santa Cruz.  See PowerPoint presentation HERECOVID-19 Effects on the Local Fishing Industry  - Pete Granger, Whatcom Working Waterfront Coalition.  Zoom recording of both presentations HERE.
  • Tsunami Hazards in Whatcom County - Dr. Carrie Garrison-Laney, Tsunami Hazards Specialist and PMEL Liaison, Washington Sea Grant. Tsunami Planning for Whatcom County - John Gargett, Deputy Director, Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.  Zoom recording of both presentation HERE.

    For more information visit:

    NOAA Comprehensive tsunami website:

    Washington Department of Natural Resources Tsunami pages/reports

    Washington Emergency Management Division Tsunami information and Tsunami Roadshow archive

  • Defending Drayton Harbor: Managing the recent invasion of European Green Crab collaboratively - Emily Grason, Washington SeaGrant, Chelsey Buffington, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Alexandra Simpson, Northwest Straits Commission, April Fleming, WDFW, Lindsey Parker, WDFW. Zoom recording available HERE.

2019 Speaker Series Events

  • Pinto Abalone Status Review: Population Threats and Opportunities for Input - Henry Carson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. (March 7, 2019) See PowerPoint presentation here.
  • Million Waves Project: Frances Jose, Executive Assistant. (April 4, 2019) See PowerPoint presentation here.
  • Forage Fish in the Southern Salish Sea: Todd Sandell, Ph.D. Senior Forage Fish Biologist, Puget Sound Marine Fish Science Unit, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. (June 6, 2019) See PowerPoint presentation here.
  • North Puget Sound Geographic Response Plan (GRP) Update: Darcy Bird, Oil Spill Preparedness Planner, Washington Department of Ecology. (August 1). See PowerPoint presentation here. A STORYMAP is also available to view the GRPs (GRP tab is at the top of the map) 
  • Lummi Island Rainwater Catchment Systems. (August 10, Grange Hall, Lummi Island): Laurette Rasmussen, Whatcom County Health Department, C.J. Huxford, Northwest Rain Solutions, Randy Smith, Lummi Islander.  Presentation by Laurette Rasmussen can be seen here: Rainwater Catchment for Domestic Use.  Lummi Island rainfall data can be viewed here: 39 years of Rainfall Data from 4 Island Stations.

2018 Speaker Series Events

  • Continued Impacts of Sea Star Wasting Disease - Melissa Miner, Researcher, UC Santa Cruz.  Find a summary of all the various ways to view and/or access data for sea stars and other species monitored at sites HERE.
  • Tipping the balance: Impact of eelgrass wasting disease in the Salish Sea - Morgan Eisenlord, PhD student at Cornell University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • The Salish Sea Institute: Strengthening Our Sense of Place and Connection to the Salish Sea – Ginny Broadhurst, Director of the Salish Sea Institute at WWU. View PowerPoint HERE.
  • Training the Next Generation of the Blue Revolution - Brittany Palm-Flawd, PhD Candidate, Hatchery Manager & Instructor at the BTC Fisheries and Aquaculture Program.

2017 Speaker Series Events

  • An Assessment of Juvenile Chinook Salmon Populations Structure and Dynamic in the Nooksack Estuary and Bellingham Bay Shoreline, 2003-2015 - Eric Beamer, Skagit River Coroperative
  • Lummi Island Quarry/Aiston Preserve Update - Rebecca Rettmer, Lummi Island Heritage Trust
  • Invasive Green Crabs in Washington Salish Sea, What do we Know and What's Next - Emily Grason, Washington Sea Grant
  • Bellingham Waterfront Update - Brian Gouran, Port of Bellingham Environmental Director
  • Using Transplanted Mussels to Assess Contaminants - Jennifer Lanksbury, WDFW
  • Baker to Bay Symposium - various speakers (see Evaluation here)
  • Water Supply Symposium - various speakers (see Evaluation here)

2016 Speaker Series Events

  • The Salish Sea Institute - Bert Webber
  • Restoration of Olympia Oysters in Fidalgo Bay - Dr. Paul Dinnel, Shannon Point Marine Center, Western Washington University
  • Ocean acidification alter swimming, but not morphology, in Olympia Oyster Larvae - Shannon Buckham, Western Washington University
  • Bellingham Restoration Priorities - Analiese Burns, City of Bellingham
  • Hypoxia, snarks and phytoplankton: A story of oxygen dynamics in Bellingham Bay - Dr. Jude Apple, Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • The Restless Lake: Surprising Water Dynamics of Lake Whatcom - Burt Rubash and Elizabeth Kilanowski

Previous Speaker Series Events

Public Speaker Series